Updated on 09/16/2011 7:48AM

Miss Linda won't be denied


HALLANDALE BEACH, Fla. - Miss Linda served notice that she will be one of the leading contenders for an Eclipse Award this year with a powerful performance in Friday's $100,000 Sabin Stakes*, winning by 4 1/4 lengths before 7,096 at Gulfstream Park.

Several horses took runs at Miss Linda in the first six furlongs of the 1 1/16-mile race, but Miss Linda turned back all challengers and then drew away with authority. Forest Secrets was second, 2 1/2 lengths clear of Tap Dance in third.

Miss Linda's time of 1:42.61 on the fast main track was excellent. And though the Sabin was only a Grade 3 race, it drew a Grade 1 field, with the winners of last year's Spinster Stakes and Acorn Stakes among the 12 older fillies and mares.

Miss Linda was the 2-1 favorite and paid $6.20 to win. The 5-year-old mare, a daughter of Southern Halo, has now won eight times in 14 starts. Her biggest victory last year came in the Spinster, which she won before finishing sixth in the Breeders' Cup Distaff. Miss Linda has won four of her last six starts for trainer John Kimmel, who has trained the Argentine mare since she was imported from South America.

Richard Migliore flew down from New York to ride Miss Linda.

"It's a bittersweet feeling coming down here and winning a race like this," Migliore said. "You enjoy riding these kinds of horses like they have down here this time of year, but my wife just had another baby and my family is in New York, so I just didn't feel comfortable riding down here this winter. Especially after what happened in September, with me being from New York and all. It helped me set my priorities straight."

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